VCRD chose the subject of the 2007 Conference based on the growing momentum in Vermont (and globally) to identify our unique local assets and use them as essential building blocks to strengthen our rural economies. VCRD’s 2004 report Advancing the Creative Economy, and the “Creative Communities Program” (CCP) VCRD led over the past two years, laid the groundwork for this high-energy State House event. This day-long event succeeded in identifying the next essential steps in keeping Vermont communities vital and competitive. Vermont is well situated, through its brand identification, cultural heritage, and artistic depth, as well as its human and intellectual capital, to be a leader in innovation and creativity. The Conference discussions reflect and celebrate the progress we are making today and the dedication Vermonters share in realizing the opportunities ahead.